Publication Date: 1966
Robert Donnell is another Guelphite who has climbed high in his profession. He was born in Toronto but came to Guelph when he was five years old. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Donnell of Waterloo Avenue.
He attended the Torrance School, G.C.I., and was a member of St. George’s Church and Sunday School.
For several years he was employed as a clerk in Macdonald’s large store at the foot of Wyndham Street. During this period, he played the carillon at St. George’s Church. Through real talent and hard work, he became very proficient, and was later appointed Dominion Carillonneur.
Robert Donnell received his musical training in Canada, the United States, and Europe. He was appointed carillonneur at the Cutten Memorial Carillon in Guelph, Ontario, when it was inaugurated and gave his first recital in Ottawa, as guest carillonneur, during the Imperial Conference.
In 1938 he graduated from the Beiaardschool te Mechelen, Belgium (Mechlin Carillon School), and was appointed Dominion Carillonneur in 1939.
He has given recitals on outstanding carillons in Holland, Belgium, and North America, and has been featured on several world broadcasts. He was heard each Christmas on the Commonwealth Broadcast.
During the Second World War, Mr. Donnell served with the Royal Canadian Air Force for over three years. Donnell was appointed Musical Advisor to the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (1946-1949), as well as appointed President of the Guild (1950-1952).